Monday, August 3, 2009

No new taxes

You know, I seem to recall that there was another president who made bold claims about "no new taxes" and came to regret it.

It seems doubly crazy in this case for two reasons. First, by any reasonable accounting, the pledge is already broken via the stimulus package, which represents a huge increase in future taxes. Second, unless Obama is planning to take over the Fed and start printing money (which is, of course, just a different way of raising taxes, in that case on cash balances), or to make huge cuts elsewhere in the federal budget, neither of which seems likely, there is simply no way to pay for the current health care policy changes on the table solely with taxes on those making more than $250,000 per year. There are not that many such people and they tend to have the most opportunities to avoid income taxation, either via legal loopholes or simply by not reporting parts of their income, or even by moving elsewhere.

I think Obama will regret this move, just as Bush I did. Why not be honest instead? It really is kind of amazing that this administration, after all the hoopla, hasnt' even really tried to be different. From day one it has been business as usual with spin, spin, spin.